Tips to Get Out of Your Diet Slump: So you have begun a new diet and activity regime and it you dropped a few pounds but now you seem to have stopped seeing results. This phenomenon is not uncommon with many of my clients when they first come to me. They are on a health kick and think they are doing all the right things, but they have become stuck in a rut.
I have compiled the 5 most common diet traps to avoid
TOO MANY LIQUID CALORIES– fresh from the gym you go to JAMBA JUICE for a huge smoothie with tons of excess sugar and calories, many can go up to 800 calories. Know what you are ordering, an effective smoothie should include a non fat dairy like yogurt or soy milk and fresh fruit, no added fruit juices. Your best bet is making one at home, so you can control the contents. Sports drinks are another unneeded calorie bust. All those sugar waters on the market are a waste and can be substituted with a variety of crystal lite packets of your choosing.
Try this fresh watermelon drink with mint either alone or with your favorite spirit! Full of Lycopene, Water and Fun!
YOU ARE EATING TO MUCH– so you have taken that one hour spin class and now you have given yourself license to go on a pizza frenzy. Trust me you did not burn off enough calories too justify that splurge. Remember when you decide your activity level; the amount of calories a day should reflect your BMI and your weight loss goals. When the calorie intake is decided, then you should split the calories throughout the day, preferably in mini meals. With that said there are great choices for both pre and post workout which include protein /carb combo.
YOU ARE EATING TOO LITTLE– another pitfall is the extreme restriction of calories. Eating to little may show some results in the beginning but for the long term, it has its ramifications. Your body thinks it is starving itself so your metabolism slows and holds on to the fat. Losing weight, does not mean not giving your body what it needs. Again your body fuel is food, and should be considered as such. Not taking in enough calories with deplete your body of essential nutrients and causes fatigue, which will in turn prevent you from keep your activity level up. Your diet should consist of clean foods (unprocessed) that will keep your energy revved up all day long.
YOU AREN’T SLEEPING ENOUGH– study after study emphasizes the importance of sleep in all biological functions, including weight loss. Getting up too early to exercise when you don’t get your eight hours of shut eye can sabotage your weight loss. Studies also show that lack of sleep increases stress levels and increases your grehlin levels (a hormone that makes you hungry) which increases your appetite. Sleep must be part of your weight loss plan. Planning is essential in any diet, and should be carefully considered. With our busy schedule, it may seem like a luxury to get some sleep but start a routine and stick to it.
HEALTHY SNACK TRAP– this trend started when we were all suckered into the Snackwell cookie line that was no- fat, so we scarfed down entire boxes. If you actually read the label of many “healthy” snacks like granola bars, or sports bars, they are filled with tons of sugar. I am not a fan of processed foods in any way shape or form. But if you must grab one of these treats on the go, (as a mini- meal replacement) chose one that is low in added sugar, 5g or less and high fiber 5g or more. This sounds easier than it is, start looking at labels and you will find that this 5/5 combo is not such any easy task, that is why I stick to pure foods.
If you are suffering from a diet slump, looking into these areas may lead you to a reason for your lagging weight loss goals. Remember, keep a food journal, schedule in ample time for sleep, activity and use food mainly to fuel your body. Take stock of your life and see results!
-Fiorella DiCarlo RD, RDN, CDN